Look Who’s Living in the Trees

Get out of your house and into the trees at the Idaho Museum of Natural History newest exhibit, opening January 28th

This Spring, families can spend some quality time hanging out in the trees with a visit to the Idaho Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibit, Tree Houses. This new hands-on exhibit is the second created by the Environmental Exhibit Collaborative, the same group of museums that created the museum’s popular 2005 exhibit, Turtle Travels.

An owl, a little girl, a duck, an Ewok, Winnie the Pooh, and a squirrel are all headed to the Tree Houses exhibit.

This time, the focus moves up, in, around and even underneath trees. Tree Houses includes fun, hands-on ways to explore the important roles that trees play in providing homes for all sorts of wild things (including people!). Incorporating all of the senses, this popular exhibit engages forest explorers of all ages in indoor nature explorations and the ecology of sustainable harvesting of this important natural resource.

In this exhibit, families can:

  • Look for signs of animal tree dwellers as they walk through an indoor tree house and across a wobbly connecting bridge
  • Play a computerized forest game where they can harvest trees without harming wildlife
  • Watch how a forest becomes house
  • View the tree houses people have built around the world— even design and build their own
  • See stereoscopic 3-D images of some of the smaller animals we can find living in New England’s trees
  • Listen for animals inside the tree house and try to guess their sounds on an “animal dance floor”
  • Peer down from inside a “crow’s nest” (and peer down at the folks “on the ground”)
  • Revisit favorite fictional tree dwellers, from the Ewoks of Star Wars to Winnie the Pooh
  • Wander through a “kitchen” to discover not-so-obvious tree connections in our own houses

Little girl looking for signs of tree dwellers while crossing the wobbly bridge.

Little girl looking for signs of tree dwellers while crossing the wobbly bridge.

Little boy using the stereoscopic 3-D images of some of the smaller animals we can find living in New England’s trees

Stereoscopic 3-D images of some of the smaller animals we can find living in New England’s trees. Photo credit Patrick O’Connor

Tree Houses will open to the public on January 28th.  The exhibit was produced by the Environmental Exhibit Collaborative (EcoTarium, Worcester, Massachusetts; ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont; and the Children’s Museum of Maine, Portland, Maine) with major support from Jane’s Trust. Additional support was provided by Cabot Family Charitable Trust and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. It will be at the Idaho Museum of Natural History through May 6th.